After a tumultuous and active November, our students are balancing a variety of responsibilities, including preparing for finals and the end of the semester. I’m inspired by the positive influence each of you provide by supporting our students during this traditionally high-stress time, whether providing comfortable study spaces, fun programs and activities, or just an ear to listen to concerns. I am grateful for our Division of Student Affairs community and your relationships with our students. Heading into these final weeks, we have some wonderful opportunities as a Division to come together and celebrate our community.
I’m looking forward to seeing each of you at our annual Staff Holiday Celebration on Thursday, Dec. 8, 9-11 a.m., at the Texas Union Quadrangle Room. Join us to enjoy sweet and savory treats, our holiday photo booth, conversation and camaraderie with your colleagues across the Division. We will also be collecting non-perishable items for the Central Texas Food Bank. It’s a “come and go” event — so please coordinate within your team on staffing to be sure all can attend.
It’s also time to recognize outstanding employees who support student success and enhance our programs, facilities and services. I encourage you to nominate a Division colleague for the 19th Annual Texas Parents Staff Merit Awards. Nominees must be full-time employees who have worked in the Division of Student Affairs for at least three consecutive years and inspire fellow staff to make a habit of seeking excellence in their own work. The recipients will be recognized at the Division-wide Staff Meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 25. Honorees will receive a plaque and a $1,500 award from Texas Parents Association. Submit your nomination online by Thursday, Dec. 8 (available in English or Spanish). You can also pick up a form in the Texas Parents office in Gregory Gymnasium (1.107).
Thank you again for your commitment to our campus community. I have no doubt of our ability to keep moving forward and accomplish all that we set out to do. Enjoy your winter break — I look forward to a great spring semester with you.